Although I’ve written some notes on how to show love to an aspie, I’m not sure it’s really relevant in their lives. An analogy that keeps coming to mind is a deaf person reading lips. Aspies see emotion but don’t feel it and it is often misinterpreted. They have emotion but don’t have a receptor that receives incoming messages. Much like the deaf person has no sound receptor. A deaf person is most likely never going to feel sound. An Autistic is most likely never going to feel emotion. So when I talk to Mark about liking him, they are just words, like “bowl” is a word. They will never have an internal meaning of any kind. So as much as I want to share how much I like him, it is literally falling on deaf ears. He does, however have an understanding of the act of validation, which he says means a lot to him.
An example of validation from our very early marriage that he has brought up many times in the last almost 18 years: We were at one of my Aunt’s house and she had a very old cookbook that she kept in a ziplock bag because it was falling apart. This Aunt wouldn’t let her daughter borrow the book. She offered to let Mark borrow the book but was concerned about him taking good care of it. I said something to the effect that if there’s anything Mark takes care of, it’s his books. This is what he still remembers. Now if we can figure out what I did, then we can make an aspie’s world more stable (Mark’s words).
Again, we can be sad about this, but Mark is content with himself. He has always been what he is. It is we who are just learning. He says that he is going to prove that autistics are another culture. Words he texted me, “Since culture is an adaptive skill set to cope with biological, mental and other pressures, then I can easily show evidence for HFA to be a culture unto it’s own.” I think he just might.
Maybe we are too needy and rely on emotion too much. Mark would say definitly so.